Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chile Gets Morale Boosting Win over ROK

South Americans defeat locals by 1-0 in Seoul

The preparation match played on Jan. 30 at the Seoul National Stadium was a clash between similar forces in World football. On one side was the Republic of Korea, a country whose national team has improved tremendously and at present can stand its own ground against any other, while its opponent was Chile, whose team is always overshadowed by neighboring superpowers such as Brazil and Argentina. Both teams are preparing for its next 2010 World Cup qualifying matches, Korea will play Turkmenistan in a weeks time, while Chile has more time since its next rival will be Bolivia in July. Also both teams did not show its strongest lineup, as the Korean coach decided to sideline Park Ji Sung (Manchester United) and Lee Young Pyo (Tottenham Hotspur), while Marcelo Bielsa of Chile had the chance to try out many players that had not previously been in the national team.
The match was broadcasted by TV live at 8:00 a.m. in Chile, while in Seoul did not draw such a large crowd at the National Stadium, probably due to the low temperatures that were near to -8 degrees Celsius.
In the first half, ROK had many chances to score but all were blocked due to a fine performance by Chile´s reserve goalkeeper Miguel Pinto.
Gonzalo Fierro broke the deadlock in the scoreboard in the 55TH minute of the second half, and Chile was lucky to be able to end up with the victory, mainly due to the ineffective shooting shown by the Korean players and Pinto’s inspired play.
This was the eighth time that Chile had played Korea, the first being in the 1966 World Cup when the South Americans drew 1-1 with North Korea. In 1984 a Chilean U-21 team traveled to Seoul and lost by 3-1 against the locals, while two further matches were played in 1985 during the Independence Cup played in Indonesia. Chile won on both occasions by 4-0 and 1-0 and the next two results were a 0-0 draw in 1987 and a 1-0 victory by the ROK during the 2000 Sydney Olympic games.

Starting lineups:

Republic of Korea : Kim Byung-Ji (46' Jung Sung-Ryong); Cho Sung-Hwan, Cho Won-Hee, Cho Yong-Hyung, Kim Chi-Woo; Hwang Ji-Soo (70' Lee Jong Min), Lee Kwan Woo (46' Hwang Jae-Won), Yeom Ki-Hun, Kim Nam-Il; Kwak Tae-Hwi y Jung Jo-Gook (34' Cho Jin-Soo. 77' Park Chu-Young).

Chile : Miguel Pinto; Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Hans Martínez; Roberto Cereceda, Manuel Iturra, Marco Estrada, Pedro Morales (90' Pedro Morales); Gonzalo Fierro, Eduardo Rubio (92' Osvaldo González), Jean Beausejour.

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